Trip Across Mid-America part 1

August 15-September 13, 2021

The photos will look much better in the blog rather from your email.

We embarked on another 30 day cross country trip across Mid-America encompassing 15 states and 5600 miles in our Mercedes Sprinter RoadTrek RV van. The photos in two parts are the highlights of the most photogenic places. We did visit many friends and relatives in Chicagoland, Toledo, Lockport, South Wales, Glenwood, and Brockport.

Before we even made it out of Arizona we had a glorious sunny and puffy cloud day which begged for a stop in the Painted Desert which is the northern part of the Petrified Forest National Park. We visited this once about 50 years ago and I always remember the photos I obtained on a sunny day as the colors really “popped”. Several other visits were disappointing on cloudy or overcast days. But not on this day!

Our first RV park near Albuquerque, NM featured several vintage RV’s and old cars.

On the next day a good rest stop was in Tucumcari, NM which is an old Route 66 town. My favorite is the Blue Swallow motel which I have photographed several times before. The unique thing about this motel is that there are tiny one car garages between the motel units and it is still in operation.

The next stop was in Liberal, KS which I found out later is the “hometown” of Dorthy from the Wizard of Oz, with Dorthy’s house as an attraction and a 5000 sq feet “Land of Oz” exhibit, which we did not visit -maybe next time. Nice sunset with the windmill in the RV park.

We continued thought the state of Kansas the next day, all on secondary roads through the farming country. One of two scenic byways in Kansas is the tall grass prairie in the Flint Hills area south of Manhattan. The visitor center is near a ranch with limestone barn and house. The Blue stem grass can be 4-6 feet tall. The little one room school house is on the prairie preserve. The courthouse is in Cottonwood Falls at the south end to the prairie.

The next day we head north through Nebraska and on into Iowa on Interstate 80. We stopped west of Des Moines to be near the “Bridges of Madison County”, made famous by a Clint Eastwood movie. We found the Holliwell Covered Bridge near Winterset, IA which is also the hometown of John Wayne with a museum of course.

The next series of photos are from Sonnenberg Mansion and Gardens in Canandaigua, NY. We went with my brother and his wife and had been there many years earlier, so it was interesting to see the changes in the gardens.

There are quite a few more images of the gardens so please click below to go to the blog website.

The purple flowers below are interesting in that they look like balloons. Balloon flowers (Platycodon grandiflorus) are clump-forming perennials and members of the easy-to-grow bellflower family of plants. There are also pink cone flowers and yellow Brown Eyed Susan’s.

The green and purple flowers in the beds are coleus and are grown for their leaf colors.

8 thoughts on “Trip Across Mid-America part 1

  1. Stunning as always. What a fabulous eye you have. Two favorites – the purple balloons and the colonnade with fantastic dimensional perspective (top mid- and bottom shadow). Wowsers!

  2. What a wonderful trip. I didn’t know Liberal Kansas was Dorothys home. We always stayed in Liberal on our drive from Wisconsin to Arizona. I remember being there the day Obama won his first election. I was so happy and thought it interesting that we were in Liberal. The farmers at the coffee shop weren’t as happy as we were. 😇Im glad you are able to travel so far. Joan must be doing well. We will celebrate 60 years of marriage the 7th of this month. We had a large party in June. I’m glad we did it then as things were safer with the covid., Your pictures are beautiful.

    • Absolutely wonderful pictures, Charles. Because Jerry’s from Kansas originally, whenever we went to family reunions there, we passed through many of the places you photographed. Tucumcari and Liberal are such a hoot. Enjoyed reading about the Sonnenberg Mansion and Gardens — so beautiful.

  3. WOW, you two are absolutely amazing.  Continuing to see the country, 5600 miles of it.  You sure do have a lot of miles under your belts.  Catching the beauty and colors is what you are all about.  Awesome.  Some of those sites are breath taking and you capture it every time, clouds or no clouds.  Glad to see you are both able to continue your travels.  It’s what keeps you young I’m sure.  Thank you for sharing these spectacular views. We spent almost two weeks in Texas.  My daughter, son-in-law and grandson moved there about three weeks ago.  Went to help them unpack and visited an old town while we were there, Cranbury.  They live in Double Oak which is near Irving, close to Dallas.  Thanks again for sharing your talent. Sue

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